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Thread: Barbados

  1. #1
    Master Chartman69's Avatar
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    Barbados

    Off to Barbados for a family holiday next week , anyone who has been can you advise best currency to take ? US dollars ? GBP ? Or Barbadian dollars ? Also any tips whilst there .

    Many thanks.

    Ian

  2. #2
    US dollars are accepted easily as widely as Bajan dollars, but I always bring Bajan, as it saves on having to make currency conversions.

    As to recommendations...

    The people are the best thing about the island - friendly, fun, welcoming & laid-back. The joy of the island is the ease of getting out & about, not staying at your hotel.

    Their food is fantastic, and the seafood especially - ensure to try the national dish of flying fish, itís beautiful - and they like macínícheese also, for some reason. Iím pretty much addicted to the yellow Bajan hot sauce youíll see everywhere.

    In terms of restaurants, The renowned Cliff & Tides are expensive but excellent. Nishi (Asian fusion), Lone Star (a past favourite of Michael Winner) & The Fishpot are all good and a little bit less expensive. I like the Beach House for value (and like a lot of places, itís on the beach and thus you may see baby turtles hatching & migrating to the sea), and Mullins is laid-back. Spago is a good Italian. If you want something informal or light, then Cafe Moyŗ or the local Just Grilliní chain are decent.

    Banks beer is an institution, and itís fun to call into the local roadside beer shacks.

    Mount Gay Rum is of course made in the island, and the tour is worthwhile - not only do you get some booze, but also a decent meal there.

    If you can, try and experience one of the local buses - they play loud local music and are marvellously informal about how they do business and rattle along the roads.

    If you donít have the kids with you, then a day-trip on the ĎJolly Rogerí is a must. Itís a boat with staff dressed as pirates that leaves from near Bridgetown, and you pay one fee for your meal and unlimited drinks onboard (very, very dangerous). On the way out they drop anchor off Sandy Lane, and you can swim with turtles, snorkel a ship wreck, or just be made to walk the shipís plank. On the way back they crank the music up loud, and the lethal rum punch kicks in, as most are plastered & dancing.

    For the best waves, try Crane Beach on the East, Atlantic of the island, it can get very rough, and you can jump from the cliffs (but it can be blighted with seaweed, so check that before you visit). Snorkelling and other water sports are excellent.

    For cricket fans, Kensington Oval is easy to visit, and often there will be local games on.

    For kids, the Harrison caves are good. Near the airport you can also visit onboard a Concord left behind.

    Bridgetown has several watch stores, and itís a low-key capital, where you can grab a beer and watch turtles in the harbour. Holetown has a swanky shopping complex as well, and opposite thereís a little rabbit-warren of nice restaurants. The Chattel Town shacks in Holetown would also be popular with your wife for shopping.

  3. #3
    Master Chartman69's Avatar
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    Fantastic thanks for that lovely info !

  4. #4
    Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry is great. Really fresh fish, grilled on the spot, cold beers and loud Reggae. What's not to like?

    Lounge on the beach and wait for the man in the rowing boat (NOT a euphemism!) to turn up and sell you some Ganja.

    Definitely visit a brightly painted rum shack.

    Sugar plantation visit is fascinating with old colonial buildings, etc. But don't miss the transport back to town as you'll feel like you've stepped into North By Northwest (crop spraying planes). And then you'll have to find (after a long, hot walk) a country bus where, a bus conductor with earrings in the shape of small guns and more weaponry tattoos than Raheem, will promise to 'take care of you'. Ask me how I know this.
    Last edited by Alpha4; 12th July 2018 at 11:21.

  5. #5
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    It is well over 25 years since I was there, but I still fondly remember it. Great place.

    A few utterly useless things I can remember:
    1. The Atlantic coast was completely different to the Caribbean side (not surprisingly).
    2. ALL of the radio adverts had a reggae music theme to them.
    3. I ate a spicy oxtail stew while I was there and it was the best I have ever eaten.
    4. All hire cars were mini-mokes (I bet that has changed now!).

    Oh, and US dollars were the way to go.

    Hope you have fun!

  6. #6
    Master
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    My favourite Caribbean island I think. I've been a few times and always used US Dollars.

    As mentioned above the local buses are good fun. Last time went on the reggae bus from Bridgetown up the coast.

    Bought my first ever Rolex in 2005 at the Royal Shop. They've got one in Bridgetown and another down the road in the port for the cruise ships. Last time I went in 2014 they had TWO DSB's and Dollar wise it worked out at just over 7k (you have to declare on return of course). There's a designer outlet up the coast called Limegrove that I went to briefly and recall some watch shops there, though can't remember which ones.

    Oh and not far from the Oval is where Rhianna was born - locals pointed out.

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Lovely island.
    We went over 20 years ago when much younger and with very little money to our name. We booked one of those silly cheap deals where you didn't know where you were going to stay and the two of us ended up in a private villa about 100yds from Sandy Lane GC! The only problem was the cost of restaurants in the area was so high that we lived on Chefette take away (Bajan fast food with lots of the yellow sauce) and Pizza from a cafť in a converted railway carriage by the roadside for the week.
    If you don't fancy the pirate ship trip then a rather more sophisticated alternative is one of the catamaran trips out from Bridgetown. As with the pirate boat the day was fully catered and with booze flowing freely but without the crazy stuff - We did do lots of swimming with Turtles from the catamaran - this is not to be missed, especially when the boat crew start distributing fish to those in the water so we could hand feed the turtles. If I remember correctly we went on Tiami - the fact I can remember that 20+ years later tells you that the day stuck in my mind!
    Another highlight was a trip round the island in a helicopter, again flying from Bridgetown - not cheap but certainly an experience. We spent out on this this partly as compensation for all the dodgy food we were eating!
    As already noted, get on the Buses to get a feel for the 'real' Barbados.
    Finally yellow Bajan hot sauce is fantastic if you like a bit of heat. The red sauce however is a whole different ball-game!

  8. #8
    Master Chartman69's Avatar
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    Thanks for all this great info guys !

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    Fantastic place. Tedís tours is a must. Brilliantly funny tour guide. He is a white man of British origin who was born on the island. Unlimited rum punch on tap and you get to see some great sights all around the Island including the ĎNigel Ben Aunty Barí

    Bridgetown is a great place. If you want to buy something and show your passport, you pay less than the locals which meant that in a few of the shops. We were asked by the locals to buy things on their behalf. The shopkeepers didnít seem to mind so much but it made us slightly uneasy at times. As said by others, the people are generally really lovely.

    If you have time, take the short flight to St. Lucia. Completely different island to Barbados. Where Barbados is generally quite dry and flat, St. Lucia is incredibly lush and green and mountainous. Really lovely place and you can see he whole island in a day

    The Catamaran Cruise is a must also.



    Above is a photo of St. Lucia where some scenes of the pirates of the Caribbean were filmed apparently.

    Enjoy!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    great timely thread for me , as myself, wife & 2 daughters heading to Barbados for the first time in October.

    We've rented an apartment on the beach in holetown and looking forward to actually not doing much :)

    A quick watch based question .. is it relatively OK to wear a nice watch ?

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Same for us, great stuff though weíre not there until January for my 50th!
    Alao have an apartment literally on the beach, though ours is in Christ Church.

  12. #12
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha4 View Post
    Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry is great. Really fresh fish, grilled on the spot, cold beers and loud Reggae. What's not to like?

    Lounge on the beach and wait for the man in the rowing boat (NOT a euphemism!) to turn up and sell you some Ganja.

    Definitely visit a brightly painted rum shack.

    Sugar plantation visit is fascinating with old colonial buildings, etc. But don't miss the transport back to town as you'll feel like you've stepped into North By Northwest (crop spraying planes). And then you'll have to find (after a long, hot walk) a country bus where, a bus conductor with earrings in the shape of small guns and more weaponry tattoos than Raheem, will promise to 'take care of you'. Ask me how I know this.
    I second Oistins, and thanks, I haven't been able to remember the name since we went years ago.

    You'll love Barbados, the place and people are fantastic.

  13. #13
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    There has been a raw sewage problem in the gap area for some months now,best check it's been resolved.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    There has been a raw sewage problem in the gap area for some months now,best check it's been resolved.
    Iíve been keeping a keen eye on this on the Trip Advisor Barbados forum and it seens itís localised to a few areas, Oistins and the area iím staying donít seem to be affected.
    A poster has put a map on the top of the page which highlights problem and potential problem areas.

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